Ellen Price Elder

Assistant Professor of Piano and Piano Pedagogy

About the Studio

Dr. Ellen Price Elder is Assistant Professor of Piano at The University of Southern Mississippi, where she is the coordinator of the piano accompanying program, teaches applied piano, class piano, and collaborates with faculty and guest artists.  In 2011, Dr. Elder founded the Southern Miss Piano Institute, which offers private lessons to pre-college students and adults in the community.  Her college and pre-college students receive numerous awards and honors for their performance. 

She holds the D.M.A. in Piano Pedagogy and Performance and the M.M. in Piano Performance and Literature from the University of Michigan.  Her primary instructors included Louis Nagel, John Ellis, and Joanne Smith.  She did additional study in vocal accompanying with Martin Katz and fortepiano with Penelope Crawford.  She received her B.M. in Piano Performance from the University of Southern Mississippi (student of Stanley Waldoff).  She has served on the faculties of the University of Michigan, the University of Michigan-Dearborn, Eastern Michigan University, Schoolcraft College, and William Carey University.  She has taught on the summer piano faculties of the University of Michigan All-State Program at Interlochen and the University of Michigan Summer Arts Institute.

Dr. Elder is the winner of many competitions and awards, both for solo performance and teaching.  She was the first place winner of the Ann Arbor Society for the Musical Arts Competition and the Lansing Matinee Musicale Competition, and second place winner of the Memphis International Beethoven Sonata Competition.  In March 2010, she was selected to compete in the 7th International J. S. Bach Competition in Würzburg, Germany, and was one of thirty-seven pianists chosen to compete in the 2006 Johann Sebastian Bach International Competition in Leipzig (one of three chosen from the U.S.). 

She was the recipient of the MTNA Star Award, as well as the Joanne A. Smith Piano Pedagogy Award for class piano teaching (for two consecutive years).  In 2009, she was selected to receive the HEADWAE Award (Higher Education Appreciation Day/Working for Academic Excellence) established in 1988 by the Mississippi Legislature to honor faculty who have contributed to the promotion of academic excellence at each of the state's public and private institutions. 

She has been featured as soloist with The University of Southern Mississippi Symphony Orchestra and the University of Michigan Philharmonia Orchestra, as winner of the concerto competitions at those institutions.  She has performed as soloist with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, the Mississippi Symphony Chamber Orchestra, and the Hattiesburg City Band

Dr. Elder is in demand as an adjudicator and clinician throughout the southeastern United States and beyond.  She is an active member of the local and state music teacher organizations, and currently serves as Vice-President for Membership and Web Management of the Hattiesburg Music Teachers League (former President 2010-2012) and President-Elect of the Mississippi Music Teachers Association.